New plaque: Shawnee Police Department honors officer killed in 1980

Kim Morava
The Shawnee News-Star
Family members of fallen Shawnee Patrolman David Wayne Clark, who was killed in the line of duty in 1980, are pictured with a new plaque recently unveiled in his honor. The new plaque replaces a faded one and also will be moved and displayed in the new police headquarters building when it opens in Shawnee. Pictured, from left to right, are Clark's sister, Tina Tarver, brother Raymond Clark, sister Sherri Clark, nephew Joshua Clark and Clark's mother, Christine Clark. PROVIDED/SPD
David Wayne Clark, a Shawnee police officer, was killed in the line of duty in 1980.

Forty years ago, Shawnee Patrolman David Wayne Clark was killed in a traffic accident while in pursuit of a suspect. He had been an officer for just two years and was 22 years old.

“Officer David Clark and his family gave the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of Shawnee,” said Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson.

For as many years, a plaque to honor and remember Clark has been displayed at the Shawnee Police Department in city hall.

And while memories of the officer's life and service to the city haven't faded since he died in the line of duty on Aug. 16, 1980, the years had slowly faded the photograph on his plaque.

“His memory has always been alive in our halls with a plaque in his honor. The years had started to fade his picture on that plaque,” the chief said. “We wanted to show that our memory of him will never fade.”

As a result, the department invited Clark's family to the department recently for the unveiling of a new plaque that will continue to honor Clark.

“My heart goes out to the Clark family for their loss. David and his family will always be a part of the Shawnee Police Department," Wilson said.

The police department, which will be moving this year from city hall into the former First United Bank building on Independence Street that is being renovated, plans to prominently display Clark's plaque at the new headquarters once it opens.

Clark's name is listed on both the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial in Oklahoma City and the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C.; he is also listed on the fallen officers monument outside the Pottawatomie County courthouse in downtown Shawnee.

Watch for updates.

Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson is pictured with the Clark family.